It wasn’t the Hollywood Bowl, but man, was it ever a Rock Show.
Given the economy and the fact that I’ve caught every Paul McCartney tour since 1993, I’d pretty much decided to skip the new “Up and Coming” tour this time around. It’s always great to see a Beatle and I know how spoiled it sounds to say I really didn’t need to hear a massive sing-along to “Hey Jude” again.
Then I saw the set list, where he’s doing nearly 40 songs a night at age 68, including tunes he’d never before played live, deep album cuts and more. I knew I had to be there, despite the inclusion of the dreadful “Let ‘em In."
And while the top tickets are still at $250, there are some great seats priced far lower and the audio/video setup made every seat a good one.
Click “read more” for more photos and video from the show.
“Amazing” and “perfect” don’t do justice describing the lyrics Lil Wayne is writing in jail. That’s what the hip-hop star who’s serving time in New York’s Rikers Island prison said yesterday of his new material in his newest letter to fans. In addition to touching on his music, Wayne also took some time out to answer a question he’s often asked. What does he do all day?
“I wake up around 11AM,” he starts in his note. “Have some coffee. Call my kids, and my wonderful mother. I then shower up. Read fan mail. Have lunch. Back on the phone. Read a book or write some thoughts down. Have dinner. Phone. Push-ups. Then I listen to ESPN on the radio. Read the Bible, then sleep. That’s my day.” He has roughly 100 more days of that regime. He’s expected to be released this November.
In other Weezy-related news, his manager Cortez Bryant recently told Vibe Magazine that he plans on releasing I’m Not A Human Being, an EP and prelude to Wayne’s Tha Carter IV, in September.
“I’ll probably drop it on his birthday, September 27,” said Bryant. It won’t be released for commercial purposes, though. At least not initially, he said. “We’re not about to roll out no three month set up. I’m not even putting it out in stores. We’re just gonna put it out virally and maybe package it up for Christmas. Give ‘em a hard copy later for fan appreciation.” The EP likely will feature songs Wayne recorded before he was imprisoned in March.
Robert Plant has hit the road with his new album and band, both called Band of Joy. A reunion with Allison Krauss? In the cards. Led Zep? Not so much. More tour dates are coming, according to his record label.
Prince said the Internet is dead. Still, it’s good for capturing him live. Here he is in Vienna the other night
We music geeks are always fascinated to find out how tracks are constructed in the studio. I’ve never given a lot of thought to the song “I’m Not in Love” by 10cc, but the BBC deconstructed the track. The secrets that are revealed – including the fact that the backing track is made up of endless vocal loops – are interesting, as well as an alternate vocal. Even if you’re not a fan of the song, it’s worth checking out.
Speaking of music geeks, Rhino Records took advantage of the new quad revival and released Chicago Transit Authority in its original quadraphonic mix. It was such a hit with fans that they’re now doing the extremely rare The Best of Aretha Franklin, due out Aug. 17 with mixes you’ve never heard of “Respect,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and lots more.
In case you hadn't noticed, indie-queen-turned-MILF-popper Liz Phair released a rather unpopular LP called Funstyle on her website the other day. And in case you were wondering about what it costs an artist to make a record no one likes, even if she gives it away for free, there's a somewhat revealing post on lizphair.com that addresses this very matter.
How To Like
never supposed to hear these songs. These songs lost me my management, my
record deal and a lot of nights of sleep.
Yes, I rapped
one of them. Im as surprised as you are. But here is the thing you need to know
about these songs and the ones coming next: These are all me. Love them, or
hate them, but dont mistake them for anything other than an entirely personal,
un-tethered-from-the-machine, free for all view of the world, refracted through
my own crazy lens.
This is my
journey. Ill keep sending you postcards.
Every little bit helps... Good times enthusiast and recent country arriviste Jimmy Buffett responded to the BP oil spill cataclysm the only way he knew how: with a party. CMT.com has the coverage (and the video).
Jimmy Buffett said a fan pretty much summed things up about all the excitement taking place Sunday evening (July 11) on the sands of Orange Beach in Gulf Shores, Ala.
"I saw a sign out there that said, 'What would Jimmy Buffett do? Throw a party at the oil slick!'" Buffett said. "You're right!"
And that's exactly what he did by hosting a free concert to demonstrate support for the people, businesses and culture of the Gulf Coast. The Parrotheads flocking to the concert got the party of a lifetime while viewers throughout the U.S. were able to share the moment with Jimmy Buffett & Friends: Live From the Gulf Coast, a concert special on CMT and CMT.com.
"Thank you all for coming from wherever you came to help support our good friends, neighbors -- and some of my family down here, as well," Buffett told the crowd after opening the show with "The Pascagoula Run," a track from his 1989 album, Off to See the Lizard.
As an entertainer, Buffett consistently proves he has few peers when it comes to connecting with an audience, even the tens of thousands who showed up on Orange Beach. The 90-minute telecast was packed with the songs that made him famous, including "One Particular Harbour," "Come Monday," "Son of a Son of a Sailor," "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes," "Cheeseburger in Paradise," "A Pirate Looks at Forty" and, of course, "Margaritaville."
Kenny Chesney and Zac Brown were scheduled to appear when the concert was originally planned for July 1. Other commitments prevented them from participating once the show was rescheduled for Sunday following concerns about surf conditions created by Hurricane Alex.
While Sunday's special guests were not as well known to a mainstream country audience, Buffett was clearly honored to introduce singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester and New Orleans music legend Allen Toussaint. Buffett was comfortable in a sideman's role as Winchester performed "Rhumba Man" and "Mississippi, You're on My Mind." Toussaint delivered "Yes We Can," a song he wrote and produced for R&B great Lee Dorsey during the '70s.
Singer-songwriter Mac McAnally, Buffett's longtime collaborator and band member, assumed Alan Jackson's role on "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" and took the lead again on "Back Where I Come From," his original song that was later covered by Chesney.
Although everyone on the beach understood that the concert was in response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Buffett did not dwell on the problem. He did, however, revamp part of the lyrics to "Margaritaville" to proclaim, "It's all BP's fault!"
He also revised the lyrics to "When the Coast Is Clear," a song from 1986's Floridays album, to close the televised portion of the concert. The song, one of the first Buffett wrote with McAnally, took on a poignant new meaning with a message of encouragement to those who love the Gulf Coast area.
Born in Pascagoula, Miss., and raised in Mobile, Ala., the concert was something of a homecoming for Buffett. At the end of the telecast, he took a short break and returned with his band to continue the concert with songs such as Winchester's "Biloxi" before closing the evening with Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl."
I don't know anyone who likes this song openly, but I'm pretty sure that anyone I know would have loved to be present for this (myself included, myself especially)—even if it meant sitting through "Dream Weaver."
For about 30 seconds it seemed like Ringo Starr's 70th birthday concert at Radio City Music Hall earlier tonight was over. An incredible assemblage of rock stars including Yoko Ono, Joe Walsh, Steve Van Zandt, Brian Johnson, Jeff Lynne, Nils Lofgren, Max Weinberg and Foreigner's Mick Jones had just left the stage following a massive singalong rendition of "With a Little Help From My Friends" that felt like the grand finale to an incredible night. Then, just as the house lights threatened to rise, a roadie brought out Paul McCartney's signature Hofner bass and the sell-out crowd went into absolute hysterics. When McCartney himself ran onstage and burst into (of course) the White Album's "Birthday," the screams reached a decibel level rarely heard since the Beatles stopped touring nearly 45 years ago.
Two hours earlier the concert began just like hundreds of other Ringo Starr concerts over the past two decades: The Beatle and an assortment of "All Starr" musicians took the stage and opened with the drummer's 1971 solo hit "It Don't Come Easy." To qualify as an All-Star, a rocker has to be the singer on at least two well-known hits, and play an instrument that rounds out the band. This year's crop includes keyboardists Edgar Winter and Gary "Dream Weaver" Wright, guitarists Rick Derringer and the Romantics' Wally Palmer and bassist Richard Page of Mr. Mister. On paper the set list — where Beatles classics like "I Wanna Be Your Man" and "Boys," are joined by 1980s pop like "Broken Wings" and "Talking in Your Sleep" — may seem like the playlist from a demented Bar Mitzvah in 1986, but somehow it all flows quite naturally onstage.
The MVP of the evening was Derringer, whose spotlight tracks "Hang On Sloopy" and "Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo" were clear highlights, and whose killer guitar chops elevated every single song of the evening. Derringer's former bandmate Winter was also a quintessential part of the ensemble, playing everything from saxophone to drums to a giant keyboard strapped around his neck. It's hard to imagine how many times he's played "Frankenstein" and "Free Ride," but he delivered them with incredible gusto and got a standing ovation each time. Wright brought out "Dreamweaver" early in the evening, but his voice isn't what it used to be and it didn't quite take off. Palmer came alive with the Romantics' 1979 classic "What I Like About You," while Page seemed to struggle a bit to hit the high notes on "Broken Wings."
Ringo wisely never let too much time pass without taking a turn at the mike. All-Starr band standards "Back Off Boogaloo," "Act Naturally," "Boys" and "Yellow Submarine" were supplemented by two tracks from his new album Y Not. It's hard to believe he's now 70, since he still leaps around the stage like he did 20 years ago and his voice is as strong as it ever was. "Photograph" was particularly poignant, both because it addresses the passing of time and because it was written by George Harrison," a fact that added special meaning to lines like "I want you here to have and hold as the years go by and we grow old and gray."
Midway through "Broken Wings," a murmur erupted through the hall as many of the rock stars in the audience suddenly got out of their seats and began walking towards the lobby. Out of the darkness came Johnson, Walsh, Lynne, Ono and more big names. Ringo's son Zak stepped behind the drum kit as a small army of rock stars took the stage to sing backup on "A Little Help From My Friends." It was incredible, but not the finale everybody was praying for, which came mere minutes later when McCartney arrived to accompany Ringo (on drums) for the rollicking "Birthday." It was sadly the closest thing to a Beatles reunion possible these days (the two had previously teamed up at a benefit in April 2009). At the end, with Yoko beaming on the side of the stage, Paul and Ringo embraced before walking offstage to what must have been one hell of an afterparty.
The (sort of) author of (some portion of) one of the most distinctive sections of of the definitive hits of the early '80s is owed a debt, according to a judge. But not the size of debt he was looking for. Men at Work's still-ubiquitous "Down Under" has a flute solo in it that references the melody of the old Aussie chestnut "Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree" (sing along if you know it!). The writer of that melody has wanted a taste of the "Down Under" dollar for some time—about 50% of it, in fact. A Sydney judge has awarded him 5% retroactive to 2002 (19 years after the song's initial splash). Then, according to reports, he just smiled and gave him a Vegemite sandwich.
But the penalty he imposed of 5% of the song's royalties was far less than the 60% sought by publishing company Larrikin Music, which holds the copyright for the song Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree.
Kookaburra was written more than 70 years ago by Australian teacher Marion Sinclair for a Guides competition, and the song about the native Australian bird has been a favourite around campfires from New Zealand to Canada.
Sinclair died in 1988, but Larrikin filed a copyright lawsuit last year. In February, federal court judge Peter Jacobson ruled Men at Work had copied their song's signature flute melody from Kookaburra.
Today, Jacobson ordered Men at Work's recording company, EMI Songs Australia, and Down Under songwriters Colin Hay and Ron Strykert, to pay 5% of royalties earned from the song since 2002 and from its future earnings. A statute of limitations restricted Larrikin from seeking royalties earned before 2002.
The court didn't specify what the 5% penalty translates to in dollars.
"I consider the figures put forward by Larrikin to be excessive, overreaching and unrealistic," Jacobson wrote in his judgment.
Adam Simpson, Larrikin Music's lawyer, did not comment. Hay and Strykert were not in court for the decision and couldn't be reached.
Down Under and the album it was on, Business As Usual, topped the Australian, American and British charts in early 1983. The song remains an unofficial anthem for Australia and was ranked fourth in a 2001 music industry survey of the best Australian songs. Men at Work won the 1983 Grammy award for best new artist.